Shirley Williams explores the relationship between Christian teaching, the Church and public life in the modern world. A central theme is the way in which the traditional structures of pre-industrial society have been transformed by modern progress and, consequently, human beings have been distanced from God and his natural world. Williams discusses the current cynicism about politicians and the political process, the prevailing crisis in the priesthood, and the new roles that have opened up for women in the Catholic Church. She also considers the effects of globalisation in the twenty-first century and argues that in the wake of September 11, there is a cultural and social gulf between countries that support and harbour terrorism and our own pragmatic, relativistic, secular societies. She discusses the religious and ethical considerations that are relevant to the struggle against terrorism, and sets out the basis of an international legal and moral order which alone can settle global conflicts and constitute the basis for a lasting peace. God and Caesar is an immediately relevant work for modern society by one of Britain's most respected figures.
Shirley Williams was born in 1930 to Vera Brittain, author of Testament of Youth and the political scientist George Catlin. She was a member of the Labour Party for 35 years before becoming one of the Gang of Four who founded the Social Democratic Party. Later she became leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords. She continues to lecture and serves as an advisor on Nuclear Proliferation to Gordon Brown.